Revenue Officials, numbardars and nodal officers in Red Zones of Pulwama district are failing to impose restrictions under Epidemic Diseases Act to prevent the spread of the deadly COVID 19.
As per the administration, 73 localities are declared Red Zones where revenue officials, teachers, and numberdars are authorized to impose strict lockdown to prevent COVID-19 from further contiguity.
The district had till 13 August, 577 positive cases and 33 patients have died so far. Total 1983 cumulative COVID cases were reported till Thursday, of which 1373 recovered. Most of these cases have been reported in clusters of some areas where revenue officials showed laxity to impose lockdown.
District Authorities said prohibitory orders under Epidemic Diseases Act 1897, Section 144 of the CrPC and Disaster Management Act, 2005 are already in place and there would be no inward and outward movement of any person from the villages declared as Containment zones and the people shall stay indoors to ensure complete lockdown.
Authorities have also warned of stern action against violators as per the provision of relevant Acts.
Concerned locals who want to break the transmission of the disease in the areas said that the lockdown has no impact on the ground as revenue officials (Patwaris, Naib Tehsildars and Tehsildars) are failing to impose the direction in these Red Zones.
“A lot of people behave irresponsibly and do not follow SOPs. Like wearing a mask, keeping distance. They sit at shop-fronts not caring that they could become COVID carriers. Some shopkeepers open shops during morning and evening hours while the officials deployed there to impose lockdown watch as mute spectators,” locals said in the red zones.
“These officials when being pointed out about the violations say ‘we don’t want to break our social ties’ with locals,” they said, adding the revenue officials and nodal officers were themselves not wearing masks.
The nodal officers and patwaris have been authorized to impose fines on people for not wearing masks, “but not a single violator has been fined in red zones despite violations.”
The locals urged the Chief Secretary and Divisional Commissioner to intervene and direct the district and tehsil level authorities to implement SOPs.(KNS)